Results of the 2005 A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Sepang, Malaysia
The Grand Prix of Nations round in Australia kicked off the Asian portion of the season. From Australia, teams headed to the ultra-modern racing circuit at Sepang, Malaysia. From here, teams will go to Dubai and then to Indonesia, before heading off to the African continent.
The Sepang racing circuit is a custom-built racing circuit that joined the F1 season line-up in 1999. Since then, the number of races and circuits in Asia has grown, with new-comer Shanghai (China) added to the list last year. Sepang is known to be a 'hot' race, with temperatures easily soaring over 40C. It's a test for human and machine endurance!
Team France continued their winning streak, this time with driver, Alexandre Premat, taking home the maximum number of eleven points at Sepang. Premat took both first place finishes for the Sprint Race and Main Race, as well as pocketing the fastest lap bonus point. This makes it eight consecutive wins fro team France. This win also widens team France's gap with number two team, Switzerland, who has usurped team Brazil's second place standing. Race fans saw a new face on the podium, as team Czech's driver, Thomas Enge came in third, despite having had a poor qualifying session.
It was a disappointing weekend for team Brazil, that were hot on the heals of team France in the overall standings, but lost their second place standing to team Switzerland in Sepang. Team Brazil's driver, Nelson Piquet, was plagued with problems, first qualifying only in fourth place in the Sprint Race and then stalling his car on the grid for the Main Race event and only coming in tenth. An eight point haul just wasn't good enough to beat team Switzerland's 18 point haul at Sepang.
Racing fans at Sepang saw an exciting A1 race, as team China rolled their car after touching team Portugal's car in lap two. Team China driver, Tengyi Jiang, was unhurt and team Portugal were able to resume the race after pit stop. Team Britain's Robbie Kerr, who was giving team Switzerland's driver Neel Jani a run for his money, had to unfortunately retire from the race with a jammed wheel nut. Ironically, Teams Indian and Pakistan crashed into each other and although team India driver, Armaan Ebrahim, was able to finish the race, he was later disqualified for having gotten a push start.
It was a great weekend for team Malaysia, with home fans cheering on the yellow Team Malaysia car. Driver, Alex Yoong, did a great job, scoring a total of 9-points for the weekend, with a fifth place finish in the Main Race event.
Team France continues to steam ahead, now with 92 points and in clear first place. Second place has been usurped by Switzerland 27 points behind, with Brazil now in third and Team New Zealand raking in 10 points in total for the two races, maintaining their fourth place position overall. Team Malaysia, jumped from 12th place to 6th thanks to a strong showing on their home turf. Team Austria continued to bring up the rear, scoring no points again this weekend and still positioned in last place and team Japan hasn't been able to overcome their nil point jinx. Teams that were unable to score any points in Sepang include: Australia, Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan and Austria.
The country point standing is as follows, after the race at Sepang (SR= Sprint Race; MR = Main Race; FL = Fastest lap bonus point):
- France 92 points (SR=10, MR=10, FL=1)
- Switzerland 65 (SR=9, MR=9)
- Brazil 60 (SR=7, MR=1)
- New Zealand 42 (SR=5, MR=5)
- Great Britain 38 (SR=8, MR=0)
- Malaysia 32 (SR=3, MR=6)
- Netherlands 32 (SR=6, MR=0)
- Ireland 29 (SR=4, MR=2)
- Portugal 29 (SR=2, MR=0)
- Australia 26 (SR=0, MR=0)
- Canada 20 (SR=0, MR=0)
- Czech Republic 16 (SR=0, MR=8)
- Mexico 16 (SR=0, MR=0)
- USA 13 SR=1, MR=4)
- Italy 12 (SR=0, MR=7)
- Germany 11 (SR=0, MR=3)
- Japan 6 (SR=0, MR=0)
- South Africa 6 (SR=0, MR=0)
- Indonesia 5 (SR=0, MR=0)
- Pakistan 4 (SR=0, MR=0)
- Austria 1 (SR=0,MR=0)
Top 10 Main Race results from Australia (2005)
- Great Britain
- New Zealand
Fastest lap bonus went to France